We welcomed 9 participants to the training, including new members of the Youth Parliament, and from across Europe, including two non-EU participants.

An introduction to the European Union

The training is split into two sessions: the first took place online in June and was a crash course into understanding the different institutions of the EU. Participants gained knowledge on how the EU decision making process works, and how as young patients they can advocate to raise awareness and influence EU policy decisions. 

They got an in-depth insight into the different EU institutions, to help participants identify the roles and responsibilities of each to plan advocacy strategies.

The participants also learnt about policy consultations EFA has worked on and how it relates to young people’s health. They heard how in the EU’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive EFA supported a proposal for a compulsory indoor air quality certificate for all new and renovated buildings. They also learnt about the EU’s Health Data Space, and EFA’s work calling for improved accessibility for patients to access data, and ensuring informed, involved and empowered patients based on the principle of inclusiveness.

With this newly found knowledge of EU legislation, the participants concluded the session by working together in a role-playing activity to understand how different stakeholders interact and how as patient advocates they can approach EU policymakers with their ideas and arguments.

The event was well-received by all participants, who are looking forward to the second session to develop their concrete skills.

Next step: become expert advocates!

In the next session, which will be delivered in October, participants will develop practical skills in advocacy and public speaking to influence EU decision-making. By building on what they learnt in the first session, participants will come away with core skills to push for youth-centred approaches to health policy in prevention and care.

If you are a young allergy and asthma patient aged below 35 years old, and you want to learn the skills behind patient advocacy, you can register for the second session in October by clicking here.

If you are interested in joining the European Allergy and Asthma Youth Parliament, you can apply here.